I recently posted the below thread (with pics) on PWC Today:

http://www.pwctoday.com/showthread.php?t=78934

but then I discovered that I was wrong - simple as that.

I thought that SBT had (1) given me the wrong gasket, or (2) the manufacturer of the gasket had messed up.

While at SBT returning the cores (2), I was reading an article on the wall of SBT's main office, when a gentleman walked in and inquired as to whether I was being helped or not. Well, blow me down, it was the man in the picture. Yes, I mean it was Gregory B Pickren himself.

So, I bent his ear about this gasket issue and he invited me to the other building up to his gasket man. We visually inspected the gasket to check to see if other gaskets had the water ports I thought were needed and found it only had a small hole to allow water to pass. We then went downstairs to another man who, using a computer, checked the OEM gasket design and determined that the only water port that was meant to be in the gasket was a small hole.

We discussed our discovery and determined that my modifiying the gasket by using a dremel to cut it to match the water ports on the pipe-to-exhaust manifold mating suface simply was allowing full water flow into the engine for cooling purposes. Skiing down here in Florida poses no real problem, we theorized, because of the warmth of the water. We further theorized that the restriction on the water flow would probably be more important in cooler waters so the head doesn't get "shocked" with cold water and so that the engine runs at a warm temperature. But the end agreement was that it would probably be best to replace my "modified" gasket with the OEM gasket.

So the Man, Mr. Pickren, gave me two new OEM gaskets and then invited myself and my 11-year old daugter on a tour of the entire facility - which was awesome to say the least. From where the cores come in, to the painting facility of the newly rebuilt engines - It was really cool.

Best of all was the time and interest Mr. Pickern showed when I made my initial inquiry about the gasket issue and the time he took to "solve the problem."

If the quality of his rebuilt engines are a reflection of himself - I would recommend a rebuilt SBT for anyone.